It is inarguable that Brendan Rodgers’ arrival has taken Celtic to another level. Scott Sinclair believes the Irishman’s public declaration he will stay for the long-term can move the club up another notch.
Rodgers would not have committed himself to Celtic for the next four years if he didn’t consider that he could grow the club in a European context.
The 43-year-old’s ten-in-a-row hand gestures at the end of Saturday’s overwhelming of Kilmarnock for win 35 of a 38-game unbeaten domestic season patently played to local concerns.
England-based for his whole adult life, Rodgers always wants to spread his message far and wide, though.
His communication skills have been just as impressive as coaching abilities that have polished his squad to a glistening degree. He has sold Celtic as a world-renowned “blue chip” – as he called it the other day – and the upscaling he has performed on the park has meant the message not being betrayed most matchdays.
Celtic have a credibility down south that emboldened Rodgers to say they would be top six if currently in the English Premier League.
Sinclair, pictured, danced round that suggestion as deftly as the winger has Scottish defences, but maintains his manager’s decision to make Celtic his home for four years will enhance the club’s pulling power south of the border.
“It is obviously great that the manager has secured his future. We know his affinity with the club,” said Sinclair.
“What he has been doing is massive and I think it will attract a lot of other players – especially coming from down south. I think people will look up here, look at the style we play, how we win games and I think it will be great for other players when they come and look it up.
“I haven’t spoken to anyone personally about that, but I am sure people will be looking. When you bump into people they always say how well we are doing.”
There is an element of Celtic marking time in league games with the title formalities completed. All roads point to Hampden now, and the Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers in a fortnight as the treble bid goes on the line. Certainly, the quest for the modern-day first of an unbeaten domestic season brings a meaning to every home encounter.
Celtic’s third goal demonstrated the lacerating qualities that Moussa Dembele and Tom Rogic can provide in tandem – the pair combining in the run-up to a first headed goal in senior football for James Forrest. That fact made the late cameos from the bench by a pair just recovered from injury significant with Rangers on the horizon.
“Everyone has been fighting to get back for that game as much as possible,” Sinclair added. “I think even if someone has got a hamstring they would say they would still be back.”
Without recognised strikers in recent weeks, Sinclair has carried the scoring burden. Courtesy of his fifth goal in the course of a three-game week, on Saturday he took his tally for the season on to 23.
He considers beating the career best of 27 goals that he plundered at Swansea – under Rodgers six years ago – “not impossible”. And with, potentially, eight domestic games, the winger does not sidestep a drive for an unbeaten domestic season.
The possibility of such invincibility is forever downplayed by his manager. Sinclair, refreshingly, chose to talk it up. “I definitely think it is not too far off,” he said. “But we have got to take every game as it comes. The way we played against Kilmarnock was great, with everybody moving around, switching positions.
“The way we are getting on the ball and creating chances... if we maintain that we are going to be hard to beat.”